Words: Tom Bell
Sebastian Brosche has exclusively revealed he has received an invite to compete at the Copa Podio, alongside Alexander Trans, ahead of his Yoga for BJJ UK seminar tour next month.
Known for his flexibility and creativity, as well as being the man behind yogaforbjj.net, the former purple belt world champion pioneers a form of Yoga specifically practiced to prolong jiu jitsu longevity. He will be touring the UK to share his knowledge in the next month, with three confirmed seminars in Manchester, Surrey and Essex with room for more bookings.
Interest has been high, with the Manchester workshop selling out in less than two days. Attendees and those interested can now be safe in the knowledge that both Sebastian’s jiu jitsu, as well as Yoga, is legitimate as it comes. Brosche is a brown belt under the legendary Eduardo ‘Teta’ Rios, of Frontline Academy, Oslo.
“I got the message this morning,” Sebastian explained. “Was it a surprise? Oh yeah. Well, I would say about 95% a surprise because a few weeks ago the Copa Podio asked which of the following Vikings were your favourite Scandinavian fighters and it was Alexander Trans, two others and me. I just wrote “I’m not a Viking, I’m just a weak, vegan, yoga guy” and it got a lot of likes and was at the top, so maybe the recognised me over the others.
“I got the email this morning asking me of my minimum and maximum weight. Although I didn’t receive any dates, but I’m very excited to see when and where I will fight in the Copa Podio. I was asked if I was interested and I said “Count on me.”
The Copa Podio has attracted the best of the best, with the likes of Leandro Lo, Claudio Calasans and Luis Panza taking residence in the roster, as well as many other globally renowned names in the jiu jitsu world. Brosche will be joining fellow Scandinavian Alexander Trans in the roster, which has been announced as signing a two season deal ahead of the next event. Although Brosche’s deal currently remains unknown, he humbly explained how excited he is ahead of his upcoming opportunity.
“My plan is to fight with style, like Keenan Cornelius did, because it’s so much exposure just being in this tournament. If the pit me against someone like Estima or Calasans or Leandro Lo, I’m just going to do everything I can and I’m, of course, if I’m going to lose, I’m going to do it with style! Somebody said to me, you can’t judge effort, so I’m going to give all my effort towards getting in shape before the tournament and doing jiu jitsu.”
Making a splash in the UK last November at the Toukon Challenge, Brosche stole the show with four wins in four fights, with equally as impressive performances, including a north/south kimura finish against Kywan Gracie Behring.
“You know, a venue like Copa Podio is all about the people watching, the crowd and I give my best when I get invited to things like that. I got invited to Toukon Challenge last year and I didn’t mind about winning at all, it was about pleasing the crowd and giving them action. I think that’s a reason why they would invite me because I don’t try to go for the win in the most boring way, but I like to take a lot of chances and have a lot of scrambles and that’s always fun to watch.
“When you get invited to one of the biggest tournaments in the world, you have enough pressure as it is. If you put pressure on yourself and you expect to win then you are setting yourself up for a minimum, less than perfect performance. I want to perform and I don’t perform well when I put pressure on myself so as little pressure as possible.”
Former Swedish national Judo team member Brosche explained that he sees a lesson to be learned from the invitation of Keenan Cornelius who met the 4x World Champion in Rodolfo Vieira in 2013. Since then, Cornelius has gone about reshaping the grappling landscape, even becoming one of only two men to submit Dean Lister competitively in a sixteen year period.
“You can see with Keenan when he fought Rodolfo when he got invited, he had the opportunity to fight an idol and he was inspiring. Since I saw that, I’m going to prepare myself as best as I can, as an equal, even though I’m not at all; in my mind I’m going to think I can beat every one of these guys even at a slim-to-none chance. If I do it, it’s magic, if I don’t who cares. I think I have competed in as many tournaments as many of the top guys but in Judo so I think I have a lot of experience being in competition. I know everything that counts is preparation and where your head is that day, If someone has a bad day and I have a good day, it might be a really even fight.”
Now the UK has the opportunity to learn from Brosche, who secured silver and bronze at the Europeans this year, who will be conducting Yoga for BJJ seminars across the UK.
“I’m really excited, I’m going to London to deepen my understanding of Yoga with some advanced teacher training so I just posted asking if anyone was interested in seminars and then boom, boom, boom, boom, boom! So many requests! So now I have both 8-5 learning yoga myself, then teaching yoga at night so it’s going to be exciting, I’m going to be in Manchester, London and Essex, so I’m super excited to meet the Brits.”
To the sceptics, Brosche explained his beliefs in Yoga and how it has helped him to the position he finds himself at now – including a Copa Podio place, as well as a potential BJJ 24.7 brown belt super fight at the North West Open in September.
People are getting smarter, they realise that if they are injured they cannot train and when this happens a few times to you, you realise ‘man, is it really worth practicing Jiu-Jitsu that I love and totally wrecking my body?’ and when you come to this realisation you are open to anything. There is no drug that is going to help you get better posture or become more flexible – rather the opposite. Yoga is like the magic pill for you to be able to train more jiu jitsu.
Yoga, as an addition to jiu jitsu, can untie the knot that your body becomes during mat time and just one or two sessions per week can leave you feeling looser, more flexible and limber as a whole.
“I completely agee, that’s the feedback I get a lot of the time. I have some guys, even in their fifties, that write ‘man, Yoga for BJJ is so good because all I need to do is like, twenty, thirty minutes a day and it makes me feel twenty years younger’. Sometimes it almost makes me cry because they talk about their injuries and how frustrated they are, how much pain they are in. With simple tricks like stretching with your belt or using the wall, or stretching and relaxing on the floor can really transform the way you feel within your own body.
“You see, jiu jitsu guys don’t care so much about this. They look like a pretzel when they fight and they look like a pretzel when they sit and watch so at no point is their body ever in balance. You’re just trying to be flexible on your back and strong on your front and you’re going to end up walking in a C-shape if you continue like that.”
So what can one expect from attending a Yoga for BJJ seminar? Many of Brosche’s videos are free online and there are many testimonials from well-respected competitors, including Romulo Barral, as well as Darragh O’Connail who could be seen doing Yoga with Brosche as a warm up to the Toukon Challenge last year.
“Well, words can’t really convince anyone. There’s a saying of ‘those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still’ and the only way to know something is good for you is to try it. For example, I am a vegan and have been for two years. When people try to talk about it I have to say ‘There is nothing to talk about. Try it for a week, two weeks or a month and then we can talk’ – It’s the same with Yoga, I can’t convince you how good it feels, you have to give it a try. Even though the threshold is maybe five, ten sessions to start to appreciate it … You have to try it to know it.
“There is no risk, I even have free videos on my website. You can sign up and train for free and Yoga is of course not free if you got to a studio, but it is worth it if you have a little bit of money to become a member at your local studio. I just recommend my videos because I was in a sh*t load of pain a few years back and when I found Yoga I was rid of pain and my Jiu-Jitsu started exploding. For me, it’s a real blessing and that’s why I created my website to share it. I hope someone else will feel the same as I did.
“Jiu jitsu for me is all deep down love; it cannot be taken away from me. Even if you put me in prison alone, I will do Jiu-Jitsu with a mattress because I love it so much. So, Yoga will help me train Jiu-Jitsu until I am 80 years old – that’s why I do it.
“If I could just today make my week exactly like I want to I would train Jiu-Jitsu five times, Yoga seven times, I would train some weight lifting maybe once a week and capoeira or breakdancing once or twice a week for a new kind of movement. That would be my ultimate workout plan.
“About the seminar tour, I still have some free dates if anyone would like me to come to them for a class or some training, I just want to see as many academies as possible – that would be awesome!”
For more information on Sebastian’s Yoga visit YOGAFORBJJ.NET